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Hummingbird moms sometimes choose interesting places to build their nests  They are often on thin branches in sheltered areas to protect the young from rain and wind, strings of Christmas lights left out until Spring and clotheslines.  You can find them on top of light fixtures, statues and basketball nets.  Most often they're built on cactus for the protective spines or sheltered in dense bushes.  The mother, her young and the nest don't weigh very much, so even the thinnest branch or a sturdy leaf can be suitable as a base.

Hummingbird nests usually consist of bits of lichen, moss, plant down from dandelions and cattails, small bits of bark, feathers and leaf hairs.  The nests are bound together with spider silk. Hummingbirds are very adept at getting the silk and avoiding the spiders.  Often they will eat them and then take the silk.  

If you want to help the hummingbirds build the nests, plant trees and shrubs that provide soft plant fibers.  Examples are willows, alder, witch hazel, cottonwood, ironwood, poplar, birch, beech, mulberry and maple.  Plants with fuzzy foliage like Lamb's Ear and those that produce pods with fuzzy balls of soft fiber like clematis, milkweed and blanket flower are sought by hummers.  

Don't remove spider webs.  They need the silk to bind the nest.  If you provide cotton fibers, the birds will use them in their construction.  

Click here to purchase cotton nesting balls for your hummers.

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